Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7 with security updates on January 14, 2020. It’s like Windows XP all over again—but much worse. Many more people are sticking with Windows 7 than stuck with XP.
Windows 7 Usage Is Still High
Back in April 2013, when Windows XP just had a year left of support left, only 24.93% of Windows users were sticking with XP. A commanding 62.27% of desktop users were already running Windows 7.
Microsoft has a significant problem on its hands here. And Microsoft enters this home stretch with the biggest ever Windows 10 update mess ever on its hands, too. Microsoft is hardly making a case for Windows 10 to skeptical Windows 7 users.
Why End of Support Matters
End of support is a big deal. It means Microsoft will stop issuing security patches for problems in Windows 7, which will make Windows 7 systems increasingly vulnerable to attack. Security flaws that are found and fixed in newer versions of Windows will often affect Windows 7, too. This means attackers have a roadmap for assaulting Windows 7 systems, which will become less and less secure over time.
Microsoft’s end of support date will also encourage other companies to stop supporting Windows 7, too. Windows desktop applications will eventually stop supporting older versions of Windows. This likely won’t happen immediately, as Windows 7 isn’t anywhere near as long in the tooth as Windows XP was when it was left behind. But don’t be surprised when new applications or updates to your existing applications stop supporting Windows 7. You can’t use a modern web browser on Windows XP anymore, for example.